[From Bruce Nevin (980519.0901 EDT)]
Rick Marken (980518.1600)--
If we can't get consensus from modelers then we do, indeed, have a
Has there been any actual model of coercion or of RTP processes built and
tested yet? That might account for the lack of consensus.
Not that the discussion of coercion is pointless. You have to identify a
phenomenon with some precision before you can model it. The process of
modelling can change our ideas about the phenomenon. We have to be careful
then about ignoring associated phenomena because they don't arise from the
model. Naturalistic description is a necessary starting point and an
I don't think we have a problem, it's just that we're at an early stage of
getting our heads around the phenomenon of coercion. We don't have a model.
Rick, your demo does not control my actions. It does not stop me from
clicking the Down button (if I want a lower value). It does not require me
to perform certain actions, by comparing them to a reference perception of
my actions. It does not have any perception of my actions. It is an
interesting step in the "different worlds" issue, but doesn't say anything
about coercion, other than the participant's experience of frustration.
And not that the discussion of coercion in RTP is pointless. What we have
is statements of principle and guidelines for practice. We don't have a
model. We don't have the prerequisite for modelling, naturalistic
description of actual process in the field. This discussion opens up
aspects of such a description, aspects that perhaps are not reflected in
the statements of principle and guidelines for practice. Just as the
results of behaviorist experiments depend upon covert coercion (prior
deprivation defines what is rewarding), some background coercion provides a
structure that enables RTP to work. But this is not a Bad Thing. That
coercive structure is inherent in parenting, and in the teacher role as an
extension of parenting, and necessarily so because as Bill points out
(980519.0143 MDT) where children aren't yet capable of controlling their
parents must control for them.
One thing missing from this account is how a child reaches out to new
growth (this may be perceived as rebellion or incompetence etc.) and
retreats to familiar areas where control is secure (this may be perceived
as being good or as regression etc.) in a cyclical way. How much to let
them take their own falls and learn, and how much to save them from injury,
is a continual judgment call. Even more important is the child learning to
recognize this process and participate in it intelligently, since it does
go on throughout life, and as adults we must learn to push boundaries or
retreat and assimilate when each is appropriate according to our own inner
tides. This is akin to learning to learn. Getting the wisdom to be wise.
The example of wise parents and wise teachers is important for this. RTP
could provide a good structure for this.